Preventive Oral Cancer Checks Can Save More Than Your Smile
An important part of every routine dental visit, at Forest Hills Dental Centre in Langley, we know that oral cancer checks are vital when it comes to detecting the early signs of this disease. They can also improve your treatment options and chances of recovery if oral cancer is discovered.
How are oral cancer checks performed?
We’ll start by asking you about your medical history and any new or unusual symptoms you may be experiencing. We’ll then examine the inside of your mouth, including your tongue, lips, gums, and cheeks. If we notice anything that looks abnormal, we may suggest taking a biopsy. This involves removing a small sample of tissue from the area in question, which will be sent to a laboratory for testing.
What symptoms are associated with oral cancer?
Oral cancer can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- A sore or irritation that doesn't go away
- A lump or mass in the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Numbness in the mouth or lips
- A change in the appearance of the tissue in the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- A feeling that something is caught in the throat.
These symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so it's important to see your dentist if you're experiencing any of them.
What are the risk factors for oral cancer?
There are a number of risk factors for oral cancer, including:
- Tobacco use: This is the most important risk factor for oral cancer. Cigarettes, cigars, and pipe smoking all increase the risk. Smokeless tobacco, such as snuff and chew, also increases the risk.
- Alcohol use: Drinking alcohol also increases the risk of oral cancer. The risk is even higher if you drink alcohol and use tobacco products.
- Ultraviolet light exposure: People who spend a lot of time in the sun or who use tanning beds are at increased risk for lip cancer.
- HPV infection: HPV is a group of viruses that can cause cancer. Infection with certain types of HPV increases the risk of oral cancer, especially oropharyngeal cancer.
How often should patients undergo an oral cancer check?
It's important to have an oral cancer check at least once a year, especially if you have a family history of oral cancer or are a smoker.
Oral cancer is a serious condition, but it's also one that can be successfully treated if it's caught early, which makes visiting our team regularly crucial. If you’re experiencing an abnormal oral symptom or haven’t had a dental checkup performed in the last six months, call us today!
Contact Forest Hills Dental Centre About Oral Cancer Checks Today
- Undergo regular checkups to detect & treat the early signs of oral cancer
- Experience a quick & easy assessment from our skilled team
- Significantly improve your chances of recovery if oral cancer is detected
- Learn which symptoms are commonly associated with oral cancer
- Prioritize your well-being!